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Old October 6th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #31
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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A "highly compressed GOP codec"? In very extensive and scientific trials the EBU gave XDCAM422 full approval as an acquisition format, as indeed they did AVC-Intra 100. (But not AVC-Intra 50.) XDCAM422 has been heavily adopted by large sections of the broadcast industry, and maybe one of the highest profile adoptions early on was by the BBC for "Eastenders", which (for those not in the UK) is overall the most watched soap in the UK.

OK, this is XDCAM422, as used by the XF305, and I'm sure you'll point out that the EX uses the 35Mbs version - not 422 50Mbs. I've said many times that the EX should get the full 50Mbs codec, but the real difference is 4:2:2 v 4:2:0, in other respects they are very similar. In no way can 35Mbs XDCAM be said to be "highly compressed".
Yes. The 35Mbit 4:2:0 GOP codec is highly compressed. I must confess that in the time of writing this I didn't have broadcast in mind. At least not NEWS programs. And in yes I was talking more or less about the EX codec not the Canons. But the Canons codec is still intra-frame and 8 bit (although 8 bit doesn't do much in a 1/3 chip camera as you alone have pointed out many times...). I myself don't like and probably won't ever shoot (at-least not for my own production) in a GOP codec. Maybe just to use it as a proxy or a backup when recording with an external recorder (with an AF100 or something similar).

Anyway to truly say the 250 is better or worse from the competition we'll have to wait and see for some true tests to be done and to hear feedback from the users. I wouldn't buy an 250 at this moment either. Not just because of the 3rd. November but because it's a new camera probably full of bugs and such. Sad, but that's how things work now days. The first batch is for testing and user feedback...
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Old October 7th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #32
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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Originally Posted by Sanjin Svajger View Post
I myself don't like and probably won't ever shoot (at-least not for my own production) in a GOP codec.
But why on earth not!? The example I gave was drama - a long way from news - and lots of big quality productions have no qualms about long-GOP per se.

The point about long-GOP is that it will give the quality of an I-frame only codec in about 1/2-1/3 the datarate. Why's that a bad thing?
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Anyway to truly say the 250 is better or worse from the competition we'll have to wait and see for some true tests to be done and to hear feedback from the users.
Having just seen an online demo, it seems that although it does have three separate rings for iris, zoom and focus, the iris and focus operate via a servo mechanism. Hence, relatively imprecise control, continuously rotating rings with no end stops, and no direct read out on the rings.

The obvious comparisons are the EX1 and the XF305, and the lenses on those don't have those drawbacks. I consider this a pretty big negative, and although the lens seems to be f1.6, it ramps by two stops over the range.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #33
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

Yes but not a bad range and seemingly quite a nice pic zoomed in.
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Old October 8th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #34
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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that although it does have three separate rings for iris, zoom and focus, the iris and focus operate via a servo mechanism. Hence, relatively imprecise control, continuously rotating rings with no end stops, and no direct read out on the rings.
I'm really disappointed by this. Why can't they give us a normal focus ring...??
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Old October 8th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #35
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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I'm really disappointed by this. Why can't they give us a normal focus ring...??
Simple answer - it costs more!

Don't underestimate what Canon and Sony have both done, especially Sony, combining true manual lens with 1/2" chips. It's having the ability to use a lens as either auto-focus OR a true manual lens with good response and end stops that's difficult. Either one alone is one thing, both together is difficult. It means a more expensive camera.

It all comes down to cost and compromise and the points about memory costs earlier. Very roughly, the camera only price of the XF305 is more than the HPX250 - but take memory costs into consideration and the package costs become similar. Engineering a true manual lens to the HPX250 would likely have made the camera only costs very similar, so taking memory costs into consideration it would have then been at a significant cost disadvantage.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 04:24 AM   #36
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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Simple answer - it costs more!
Off course. I wasn't really asking:)

The 250 IS a nice replacement for the 170. But I'm still waiting for a bigger chip camcorder with a P2 system. I'm at a crossroads. The stuff I'm currently doing (documentaries) requires more P2 cards that I own. But I don't want to buy up on the P2 cards without having a solid upgrade option in the camera department. And selling P2 cards is a total loss if you ask me (at least here in Slovenia where everybody thinks that used stuff should be automatically half the price or more...). I don't really want to upgrade to the 250 - although it is a compelling upgrade for a 171 owner - same batteries, same media, not that pricey of an upgrade. I would like to upgrade to a bigger sensor. Not to a 1/3. The 3100 is what I would need but it's to pricey for the production we're doing at the moment and the foreseeable near future.

I guess we're waiting for the day Panasonic releases a 2/3 ENG cam in the price range of the EX350:) Or an AF100 with P2. Think it's going to happen? I don't want to stay in the Panasonic camp just because I own P2 cards...
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 02:46 PM   #37
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

I just got back from a Panasonic demo and I was able to handle a 250. With the short time I had with the cam, I must say I came away mightily impressed. It felt light and comfortable to hand hold. I thought the image was crisp, sharp and clean. I turned the camera toward an unlit part of the room and shot on 6db and 12db. Even at 12db, I felt the image was very clean and absolutely usable. I liked the image from the 250 more than from the AF100s, which they also had on display.
With the AVC-i 100 codec, I think this camera is a terrific bargain. Compared to the XF305 which I previously owned, I would have picked the 250, had it been available when I bought my XF. The fact that the 250 is a cool $2,000 less, with that terrific codec, can't be overlooked.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 01:50 AM   #38
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

Sounds good, I've never shot with P2 cards,
could someone give me an idea, of how many cards would I need to shoot a wedding, AVC intra 100mbs?

I can have a laptop, with hard disc to download foogate from time to time..
Look forward to test the cam, too many good things in it!
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 04:44 AM   #39
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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Sounds good, I've never shot with P2 cards,
could someone give me an idea, of how many cards would I need to shoot a wedding, AVC intra 100mbs?
A good approximation is around 1GB a minute. Hence a 64GB card gives close to an hour of recording time etc. How many hours of recording time do you want?
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I can have a laptop, with hard disc to download foogate from time to time.
I really, really don't think this is a good idea. I know of at least one person who has had a laptop stolen in just such a situation, and I suspect he's not the only one. And you really need to make two separate copies of material on two separate hard drives before deletion from the original cards.

Any risk to your material is far more likely to come from human error than equipment or card failure, and downloading is an activity best carried out in a calm environment - NOT in the middle of a shoot if you have other responsibilities. It's easy to think "but it won't happen to me"..... believe me, it has happened to a lot of people who thought exactly that!

Far more satisfactory to have enough memory to cover the entire event and leave downloading until afterwards. If that rules out P2 on cost grounds - so be it.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 05:09 AM   #40
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

I have two old laptops for P2 wrangling, a powerbook G4 and an old PC laptop both with PCMIA card readers, if security is a problem then I use a kensington lock to secure them to something but as they are so old I doubt anyone would nick them anyway. As David correctly highlights I do tend to leave data wrangling till at the end of the day as it allows the two copies to be done, once verified from the camera and the other straight into FCP with my other laptop a mac book pro.

I have four 32gb cards and find that if I need lots of space AVC Intra 50 is perfectly acceptable for most jobs and would certainly be OK for weddings.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 05:12 AM   #41
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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Sounds good, I've never shot with P2 cards,
could someone give me an idea, of how many cards would I need to shoot a wedding, AVC intra 100mbs?
Well, a 64GB card is enough for about 72 minutes of recording time in either 1080p25 or 720p50. You get a little less time in NTSC modes (30p/60p) and more time in 24p. With two 64GB cards you'll get about 140 minutes.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 05:36 AM   #42
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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....... if security is a problem then I use a kensington lock to secure them to something but as they are so old I doubt anyone would nick them anyway.
Hah! That's what my friend thought! Trouble is that to the sort of person who might be tempted to nick them, a laptop is a laptop, period.
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I have four 32gb cards and find that if I need lots of space AVC Intra 50 is perfectly acceptable for most jobs and would certainly be OK for weddings.
But then isn't this sort of defeating what must be one of the main pluses for this sort of camera - the inbuilt fully approved codec? AVC-Intra 100 is, AVC-Intra 50 isn't.

Up against the XF305, then with each at the same 50Mbs datarate, the XF305 has a fully approved codec, the 250 doesn't - and CF cards are cheaper than P2 per GB.

And the XF300 has that true manual lens - the 250 has a servo lens. However good the 250 may be (and yes,it's a lot better than the 171) I can't really see why I'd want to buy it in preference to the XF300?
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 05:46 AM   #43
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

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I can't really see why I'd want to buy it in preference to the XF300?
Folks that have lots of batteries, P2 cards and other accessories for the HPX170 are probably on the fence for the 250.

Has anybody seen if the 250 has inproved in the highlights? Is the red chroma still clipping to soon? I was disappointed with the AF100 in this regard...
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 06:12 AM   #44
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

I use AVC Intra 100 for broadcast and AVC intra 50 for corporate or jobs where I don't need the full 100 codec but may need more space.

Never run out of card space anyway and if I were to do a full broadcast production that required more space I would just buy some more cards!
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 06:32 AM   #45
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Re: new Pannie HPX250 info

I would agree, AVC-i 100 is overkill for a wedding. If I were an event videographer and weddings were a big source of my income, I would look at the AC130. It's basically the same camera as the 250, same lens and chipset, but records to AVCHD. It uses much cheaper SD cards and it's priced about $1,500 less than the 250. If you don't need a broadcast-level codec, or HD/SDI out (like the AC160), it makes a lot more sense to go with the AC130.
And let's not forget the Sony NX5U. It's been a proven performer for event videography.

As far as choosing the HPX250 over the XF300/305, you can't go wrong with either camera, especially at the broadcast level. I don't know if the 250 has been approved for full acquisition by the BBC HD or Discovery HD, but since the HPX370 already is, and the 250 uses the exact same chipset and codec, I would expect the 250 to get approval. The AVC-i 100 codec is 100mbps, 10-bit, 4:2:2, and all this for $2,000 less than the XF305. That's amazing.
Again, if the 250 had been available when I bought my XF305, I might have gone with the 250. In my case, I already own P2 cards, so it would have made better economic sense. A $2,000 savings is, for me, a lot of coin.
When I looked at the video of the 250 at 12db, I thought it looked as clean as comparable XF305 footage. This is in no way scientific, just a quick observation based upon my prior experiences with my 305, and I fully admit I could be wrong. A side by side comparison is needed.
This in no way takes anything away from the XF305, which is an excellent camera. The 250 has to be very good to match the performance of the 305.
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